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President Ma attends state banquet in celebration of ROC's centenary

President Ma Ying-jeou on the evening of October 11 hosted a state banquet held at the Grand Hotel in Taipei for the foreign delegations visiting Taiwan to congratulate the nation on its 100th birthday. In remarks, the president stressed that the ROC in the future will continue to play the role of "peacemaker," "provider of humanitarian aid," "promoter of cultural ties," "creator of new technologies and business opportunities," and "standard-bearer of Chinese culture" in an effort to welcome an even better century ahead.
Among the guests attending the state banquet were Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, Republic of Palau President Johnson Toribiong and Mrs. Toribiong, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip and Mrs. Philip, Kingdom of Swaziland Queen Mother Ntombi Tfwala, Dominican Republic Vice President Rafael Francisco Alburquerque de Castro and Mrs. Alburquerque, Paraguay Vice President Luis Federico Franco Gomez and Mrs. Franco, St. Christopher and Nevis Deputy Prime Minister Sam Condor, Tuvalu Deputy Prime Minister Kausea Natano and Mrs. Natano, El Salvador Legislative Assembly Speaker Sigfrido Reyes, The Gambia Speaker of the National Assembly Abdoulie Bojang, Kiribati Parliamentary Speaker Taomati Iuta and Mrs. Iuta, Sao Tome and Principe Supreme Court President Silvestre Leite, former Vice President of Ecuador Blasco Penaherrera Padilla and Mrs. Penaherrera, and ambassadors from the ROC's allies stationed in the ROC.
The president stated that cherishing friendship is one of the fundamental values of Chinese culture. Confucius once said, "There is no greater pleasure than to have friends visiting from afar." This evening, the president said, many heads of states and distinguished guests from the ROC's allies have travelled great distances to celebrate with us the ROC's centenary. The president said that the people of the ROC feel deeply touched by this.
With the ROC having reached the milestone of its centennial, the president explained to the foreign guests the roles that the ROC will play in the international community in the future. First, he said, the ROC will be a "peacemaker." It will continue to improve cross-strait relations, reduce tension in the Taiwan Strait, and promote regional cooperation. Second, it will be a "provider of humanitarian aid." Over the past several years, the ROC has provided assistance throughout the world regardless of where disasters occur. President Ma remarked that we believe that we are all neighbors in the global village and only through mutual assistance can we jointly address the problems faced by mankind. Third, the ROC will be a "promoter of cultural ties." We hope to use the power of education, culture, and the arts to build connections with the rest of the world. The president also stated that within the next 10 years, Taiwan intends to become a hub for education in the Asia-Pacific, bringing the number of foreign students here to 130,000 from the current 50,000. Taiwan will embrace the world and will enable the international community to better understand Taiwan. Fourth, the ROC will be a "creator of new technologies and business opportunities." Taiwan has made impressive achievements in the field of information and communications technology, and in recent years it has become a major manufacturer of hardware used to generate solar power. President Ma said the ROC desires to further cooperate with its friends and allies, and make a contribution in energy conservation and reduction of global greenhouse gas emmissions. Lastly, the ROC will be a "standard-bearer of Chinese culture." Over the past six decades, we have developed a Chinese culture with Taiwan characteristics, he stated. Amid a climate of freedom, democracy, and prosperity, the people of Taiwan have had greater opportunities to demonstrate their creativity, and we would be most pleased to share this experience with the rest of the world, the president said.
President Ma remarked that the ROC has faced enormous challenges, but also accomplished great achievements over the past 100 years. Our intention to serve in the five aforementioned roles constitutes our pledge to the world, he said, adding that we hope that our friends and allies will continue to support and assist us as we embark on an even more wonderful century ahead.
After concluding his remarks, the president invited all the guests to raise their glasses to congratulate the ROC and celebrate everlasting alliances with its friends. Prior to the conclusion of the banquet, everyone sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed a piece of birthday cake to congratulate the nation on its 100th birthday.
【Source: Office of the President】